Advanced search

International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

(26 Posts)
lilypotter Sun 02-Jan-11 22:00:14

Does anyone's school follow this? If so, what do you think of it?
My DD's school are about to adopt it for September and there's a meeting to parents coming up. Want some advance info from people who've already tried it.

OP’s posts: |
mrz Mon 03-Jan-11 10:38:09 1 408891

very mixed feelings from teachers

lilypotter Mon 03-Jan-11 12:38:16

Hmm, yes, that second post is what made me have doubts, as I found it last night. Not that I'll have any say in it. Was wondering if there were any more recent opinions anywhere, now that more schools have, apparently, taken it on.

OP’s posts: |
Talkinpeace Mon 03-Jan-11 13:11:11

DS school does it.
IPC in itself I have no problems with
BUT I question the motives of any school that wants to move away from defined subjects to wishy washy topics.
DS is doing exactly the same pieces of homework that DD did two years ago - he's been copying out of her book!!!
At our school it has resulted in a REAL erosion of standards IMHO
and its very hard to judge progress where homework is "design a poster" once a month - in year 6.

blametheparents Mon 03-Jan-11 13:20:48

The primary school that DS and DD go to use the IPC for KS2, started in December.
Seems fab to me.
Literacy and maths are still taught separately (not sure if that is 'normal' with IPC?) and I have seen DS (who is in KS2) improve in his core subjects and show great enthusiasm for his 'topic' work - recently covered a topic entitled 'My Village' (or similar) which was great. He started talking about this topic loads when we went to Milton Keynes recently as he recognised it as a 'planned' town.
Think their next topic is to do with Space, which is a favourite subject of DS so he will love it.

blametheparents Mon 03-Jan-11 13:21:14

Sorry, that should have read started in September 2010

Talkinpeace Mon 03-Jan-11 16:21:21

I was a governor when it was introduced so saw all the pros and cons and paperwork and links.
As I say, I have no problem with IPC - if the teaching team are strong it can reinvigorate them to to enthuse the children in broader ways.
Yes, numeracy and literacy still go on (until Gove abolishes the literacy and numeracy hours later this year).
At my school it was a hide behind.
Two more terms to go - and counting.

mrz Mon 03-Jan-11 16:28:13

Gove doesn't need to abolish the Literacy hour as it was never statutory and many schools chose not to follow it and the Numeracy hours never existed.

Talkinpeace Mon 03-Jan-11 18:32:02

oh how I wish DS HT could hear that!

mrz Mon 03-Jan-11 18:48:02

The school my children attended never adopted the literacy hour but results allowed them to stand up to pressure.

Talkinpeace Mon 03-Jan-11 19:27:49

You are lucky to have had a good strong head.

Do any of the schools round you do IPC?
When DD & DS school brought it in, DH and I had a thorough trawl through the TES forums but the threads were so polarised it was hard to get a real view.

clam Mon 03-Jan-11 19:54:16

I'm attempting to teach with it (IPC) at the moment. Have to say I'm struggling, as it's not what we were led to believe.

(Any advice from teachers gratefully received!)

mrz Tue 04-Jan-11 08:10:01

I don't know any schools in my area that use IPC, certainly none of those we work closely with use it. We looked at it along with other approaches but felt we were swapping one prescriptive approach for another.

admission Tue 04-Jan-11 10:29:48

One of my schools does an IPC curriculum and has no problems with it. It allows for large topic work but obviously it falls flat on its face if the basics of reading writing and maths are not covered adequately.
One of the real plusses for the school is that for many of the pupils the topic work has allowed them to make really good progress because they are engrossed in the topic and don't therefore see the "maths" as "maths" but as part of the project they are involved in.
It all comes down to have you got the right teachers being able to differentiate the work so that the balance of learning the basics is right, plus suitable targets for each pupil to achieve.
If you are going to a meeting out IPC, I would ask how they are going to ensure that the pupils pick up the basics and what happens to those pupils that do not make as good progress as they should be.

TeacherJ Thu 06-Jan-11 12:10:51

Dear MumsNet contributors:
I am a mum and I taught the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) for several years before joining the organisation. I joined the IPC because it made such a difference to the children I taught. The IPC is an exceptional way for children to learn if teachers and schools use it in the right way. Some schools do use it better than others it’s true, but when used well, the IPC engages children and ignites their desire to learn. There is a huge amount of support available to schools who are switching to the IPC and for teachers who are new to it, and an accessible and global network of schools that are implementing the curriculum successfully.
IPC themes are actually very subject based; the IPC thinks subjects are really important. The IPC also encourages parents to be involved with their children’s learning and includes letters for parents telling you what your child will be learning throughout a theme.
You may find the IPC website helpful. There is a special section for parents on the website that explains how your child will be learning and includes feedback from other parents too. The web address is I hope this helps.

Talkinpeace Thu 06-Jan-11 12:42:15

I know what IPC should be
but I also know how it turns out in real life
hence why I am not a fan

mrz Thu 06-Jan-11 17:12:08

I admit I have never taught using IPC but I wasn't impressed at all with the themes when we looked at it before deciding it wasn't for us.

clam Thu 06-Jan-11 18:32:12

I agree with talkinpeace and mrz
And I'm afraid I have yet to find a member of staff in my school who has a good word to say about it.
Wasn't impressed with the sales spiel when we sat through the "training," and I'm still not convinced by what you've said teacher.

clam Thu 06-Jan-11 18:37:04

Oh, and the IPC website is not helpful in the slightest. Most of the supposed resources folders are empty, and any links to useful websites lead to dusty, non-child-friendly museum pages, when the links aren't broken.

The learning objectives are woolly and thin, and lead to massive amounts of additional planning if teachers are to teach from them. Hardly the "pick-up-and-use" scheme we were promised.

And as for the science element. There were 2 lessons in the entire term in the last theme I had the misfortune to teach. I had to add my own material extensively.

AGol Thu 06-Jan-11 22:37:54

I'm a teacher in Birmingham and have been teaching the IPC for 4 years. My 2 children have also used the IPC at a different school. I think it's the best thing that could have happened for them. My son is now in high school and my daughter is in her last year of primary and they are both enthusiastic, confident, independent and incredibly able learners and I believe it was learning with the IPC that helped them become that way. They loved all the IPC themes especially Mission to Mars, Rainforests and Making News. As a parent I loved it too as they have told me so much about what they're learning in school with the IPC and carried some of their learning on at home through their own choice. My son even created his own video news report by interviewing people on our street and that wasn't homework, it's what he wanted to do. Some of the IPC units don't have much science but others such as the water units have lots of science. It's all about making the right choices of topics for the year. The IPC now has a very good online guide that our school uses to ensure good coverage and if your school is a member school then they'll have that too. I went to an IPC Summer School 2 years ago and it was the most incredible learning I've ever had as a teacher. I think there is lots of support for me as a teacher from the IPC and there are plenty of excellent resources in the members lounge. I've linked up with teachers in IPC schools in London, Manchester and in Malaysia and Spain to share learning ideas and that has been really great. I've done all that through the members loungs. We just did a video link with the school in Spain which my class loved and we learnt so much that way.

clam Thu 06-Jan-11 23:27:33

But similar themes to those IPC offers (minus some of the particularly dull-sounding ones) have been offered in primary schools for years. And teachers have taught them in inspiring and exciting ways. My children are also "enthusiastic, confident, independent and able learners - thankfully having had no contact with this scheme. It is perfectly possible to link up with other schools globally via video without having to invest many thousands of pounds in IPC. As many schools already do.

Still not convinced.

randombaking Fri 07-Jan-11 07:12:56

I agree with clam.
We use IPC at the school were I work and most of the teachers aren't happy with it. Topics are chosen without adequate resources to use them properly & no extra money to buy them. Topics were just as good before IPC, it's how you teach them that make them come alive. I also feel children are losing touch with basic history as there seems to to be very little of it in the units we do. Art & music tend to get sidelined too.

GoldFrakkincenseAndMyrrh Fri 07-Jan-11 07:22:24

The success of the IPC, like the PYP, depends on implementation. Both can be fantastic when basic skills are emphasised, teachers are committed and enthusiastic (higher chance of this in PYP tbh as there's less chance if having it foisted on you) and there is lots of support.

When it's good it's very, very good. When it's inadequately supported by staff, parents, training, funding or resources it's at its worst. The problem us the ideal conditions exist to start with in very few schools and, given that it may be a shift away from a school's traditional methods it can take time to find its stride.

In principle it's a good idea though and if you're going to a meeting I would focus on probing questions about implementation, parent-teacher communication and long-range planning (over and between KSs as well as years and terms for example).

sharon919 Mon 28-Mar-11 19:28:49

hi GoldFrank.... i have a meeting organised by my school towards the end of April, what sort of probing Q's regarding implementatino do you reccommend I should ask? Any advice or support would be appreciated, I really dont know that much about the IPC. Thanks a lot in advance

sharon919 Mon 28-Mar-11 19:31:49

if anybody has any good questions i can throw at the IPC people could you email me at

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in